Disappointing parents 101: A Job in Creative Industries

The moment a parent holds their baby for the first time, the possibilities seem endless. A doctor, a teacher, a successful writer or maybe even a life-changing psychologist. Whatever it may be, I can guarantee no one has ever thought, “Gee! Maybe they’ll be a social brand manager!”. These parental expectations become even harder to manage with immigrant parents that did not attend institutions of higher education. Stuck swinging between a “traditional success” rock and a “following a passion” hard place is a position many college students face throughout their time, especially during major declarations. 


Fortunately, though some could argue otherwise, I clung onto that hard place at the end of my freshman year and have been navigating new media ever since. Through internships, classes, and heavy LinkedIn stalking, I’ve come to the point where my core and contextual skills paired with interests and experiences have led me to a job in social brand management. Now what the *%@# is that you ask? Basically, everything on the internet is either fake, so calculated it’s fake-adjacent, or meant to sell you something and I am really good at helping brands fool you. Not exactly the type of job you boast about at next week’s book club. 


It is also important to note here my use of the word ‘job’, not career. Job insecurity is a very real, very paralyzing thought, but any creatively-inclined professional has already accepted this fate and at the very least has basic barista skills (I’m joking!….kind of). 


Soon enough I will have a liberal arts degree, a little over a midsize SUV’s worth of debt, and two very confused parents asking if I’ll ever be successful. What if I told them I don’t even know what success looks like? This kind of work is so new to businesses and with the platforms’ everchanging features, I don’t know if I will ever be what people traditionally find successful- and I am okay with that. I am not ashamed to have a second job (most definitely as a barista) or pour a little water in the shampoo bottle to stretch it another week. I will be doing something I find interesting, exciting, and creatively stimulating. I’ll be using my degree and building upon my unpaid internships and I won’t regret a second. My future and current family will be endlessly loved, supported, and told to follow their dreams, and isn’t that success enough? 



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